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Learning languages TAC 2015

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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 49 of 91
12 May 2013 at 9:40pm | IP Logged 
I use italki to find skype partner, I had a lot of interesting conversations in January and February. I use lang-8 for writing.

I read “The Way of Shadows” and “Shadow's Edge” by Brent Weeks. I wouldn't recommend them. Yesterday, I bought The Hobbit. Hopefully, I have more luck with this choice.
1 person has voted this message useful



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 50 of 91
01 July 2013 at 9:50pm | IP Logged 
I posted my Goals for 2013 at 31.12.2012.
Today is first July. The first six months are gone, only six months are left to reach the goals.

Goals 2013 - halftime

Swedish
Finish Assimil
Jag sysslar med lektionen 58.
Go through „Lehrbuch der schwedischen Sprache“
Jag avslutade lektion 4 av 9.
Continue a Swedish course
Jag besöker fortfarande en kurs.
Read two lättläst book
Jag har inte läst en book på svenska. Jag köpte en lättläst book förra veckan.
6 texts on lang-8
Jag skrev två texter. Jag skriver också med någon på svenska i italki. Mejl som jag skriver med min kurslärare är ochså på svenska.

English
Complete „Destination B2“ by Malcolm Mann
I didn’t start to work with this book
Read six books
Current book: The Hobbit
I read: Shadow’s Edge and The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
And I read World and Press from time to time.
Watch at least one season of a serie
I watched Criminal Minds season 1,2 and 3
I'll still attend an English course
Yes I still attend an English course and booked the following course.
Find a tandem partner, face to face or via Skype
I had a tandem partner in the first months of the year. I have never spoken so much English before. It was very helpful.
24 texts on lang-8
None, I didn’t manage to write even one small entry.



Corrections are always welcome.

1 person has voted this message useful



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 51 of 91
12 October 2013 at 12:42pm | IP Logged 
English:
Besides my daily anki review, I have started to read the Hobbit.
The first impression is that the Hobbit matches perfect my English level. On the other side I don’t like to read lyrics in books.

I haven’t made any progress during the summer. I’ve worked a lot. At the beginning of next year my studies will come to end. The last thing I have to do is writing my thesis.
And I still don’t know what I want to do. There are too many opinions an internship, a job in a company, a master degree, going abroad or any combination of these things. I neither know the industrial sector or the field of activity. If someone would ask me what I want to do, my answer would be “During my studies I liked to …”.
That means I was able to develop an interest in a topic (more or less theoretical) and I was able to learn thousand things by heart and repeated them in an exam. Sure I still know these theoretical things (ironic) and I want to combine this with a practical job.

As many other students I have started to rewrite my CV. After two weeks and x-versions I still haven’t my final one. I thought it would be a good idea to show the CV to some friends. Forget it! Now I have more opinions than versions.

For example I wrote “Englisch Grundkenntnisse” (English – basic knowledge). I have never used English for business communications. I have a lack of business phrases. I still make grammar mistakes in easy texts/sentences.
It seems that everything below “fließend/verhandlungssicher” (fluent/business fluent) is inacceptable.

A typical conversation:
Friend: You should write “English – fluent”.
Me: I’m not fluent in English.
Friend: But you did your A-levels and you studied.
Me: I studied Business Informatics in German. I was never forced to use English.
Friend: But you understood the English articles we had to read.
Me: I understood them with a dictionary like every patient person with school English and a dictionary.
Friend: I write “English – fluent” in my CV and I have never used English after leaving school.
Me: Great… (Than I should list Spanish and Swedish as well.) If you had written an E-Mail to a company/institute and got an answer full of mistakes and maybe hard to understand. Would you take this company seriously? Would you find this is a reputable business?

The discussion about languages was followed by design, side jobs, grades …
This complete topic (applications, CVs, cover letters) is irritating. Who can sell the biggest lie?


Swedish:
I still attend my Swedish course. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten a new teacher. Now the lessons remind me about meditation. Sure she knows the language, but it seems that she has no interest in teaching or preparing the lessons. Okay the book is defined, but if she knows the weak points, she could prepare other exercises/explanations instead of complaining.
An example:
„Accidently“ we started with a new chapter and discovered a new grammar topic. (It wasn’t a surprise. We finished the last chapter the week before.) We switched to the grammar page and read the whole grammar points for this chapter. We started to ask some questions and her answer was like “Well, the book doesn’t explain it very good. This is one the bad things about this books. There are others like... I know the answer neither. Just read the next point.” After we read the grammar points, we asked if we could do some exercises about the first point. Her question was: “Is there any exercise in the book?”.

With the last teacher we did role plays and a lot of conversation. She knew that the book hasn’t good grammar explanations, so she prepared them herself. With our current teacher it’s a three hours silence. Even if we only work through the exercises in the book, she is surprised about the topics/contents.
At the moment self-study seems to be more useful than the course. I like courses, because you have regular sessions and I visit the class even in weeks where I haven’t time.

Besides my anki reviews, I read: http://www.amazon.de/D%C3%B6dens-suckarnas-stillsamt-litet-O rmblomman/dp/3933119650/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381573 574&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=H%C3%A5kan+Nesser+-+D%C3%B6dens+oc h+suckarnas+stad+%2F+Ett+sillsamt+litet+mord+%2F++Ormblomman
I had to use a dictionary, but I could understand the stories.


Corrections are always welcome.
1 person has voted this message useful



Belardur
Octoglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3974 days ago

148 posts - 195 votes 
Speaks: English*, GermanC2, Spanish, Dutch, Latin, Ancient Greek, French, Lowland Scots
Studies: Biblical Hebrew, Italian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin, Korean

 
 Message 52 of 91
12 October 2013 at 6:40pm | IP Logged 
Schreib doch "fortgeschrittene Kenntnisse", macht meine Frau auch für Sprachen um B2-C1.

You mentioned corrections, so here's a couple of suggestions.
You wrote "The last thing I have to do is writing my thesis." The infinitive would be better here (da der Satz
auf eine Handlung bezogen ist, wäre das besser als Substantivierung), "to write me thesis." Also note that
you may wish to specify what sort of thesis, as thesis unspecified in the academic context (as a work) is often
used in BE for the doctoral dissertation.

Also, for "I still haven't my final one", you should write "I still don't have my final one"; "haven't" tends to be a
negation for the perfect. While there are cases where it can be used (e.g. "I haven't the faintest idea"), it
comes across better with the normal negation (opinions may vary, from speakers of dialects which do this
more commonly). You've done the same at the end of your third paragraph describing Swedish.

The Swedish teacher doesn't sound all that good...may I ask where you are taking courses?

1 person has voted this message useful



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 53 of 91
12 October 2013 at 11:52pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for your corrections.

I take the Swedish courses at the vhs. The last year was really good. We had luck with the teacher and we have good combination of students. This course is expandable.
The courses at universities don’t fit in my timetable. Maybe I’ll find another one next spring.

1 person has voted this message useful



Belardur
Octoglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3974 days ago

148 posts - 195 votes 
Speaks: English*, GermanC2, Spanish, Dutch, Latin, Ancient Greek, French, Lowland Scots
Studies: Biblical Hebrew, Italian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin, Korean

 
 Message 54 of 91
14 October 2013 at 9:13am | IP Logged 
Language courses are a tough thing in Germany. I think the regulations only require "native speaker with a university degree", regardless of subject. So it can be a mixed bag, what one gets for a teacher. Generally these are folks that had a 20-hour seminar in pedagogy and the rest is up to them. Some places even bend the rules about "language teachers" by calling them "language trainers". If the VHS is anything like the one where I live, they also pay the least (I did some English teaching while finishing my degree here). Sorry to hear that you've had such poor luck this time around!
1 person has voted this message useful



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 55 of 91
09 November 2013 at 5:35pm | IP Logged 
My current Swedish teacher is a non-native. She studied Swedish at university (includes one semester in Sweden), but this was a linguistic studies. It didn’t include educational elements.

My previous Swedish teacher had the same educational background. She studies Swedish at university, one semester in Sweden. Her studies didn’t include educational elements, but she had a passion for teaching.

In English I have a native speaker as teacher. She does a great job. And I have a non-native speaker as teacher. She studied English at university, but not the linguistic path. She chose the educational path. In the morning she teaches at schools and in the evening at the vhs. And I don’t have a problem with one of them.

I don’t know how much the vhs pay compared with other institutions. Another problem is that the teacher work as freelancer. So you could do it as an extra job. If you work fulltime as freelancer you will need other clients in the morning. Who has time in the morning and the money to pay for private tutoring? Companies, but it’s hard to get the contact. From the earned money you have to pay health insurance and pension scheme, how should that work?

1 person has voted this message useful



Sunja
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4448 days ago

2020 posts - 2295 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Mandarin

 
 Message 56 of 91
10 November 2013 at 12:39pm | IP Logged 
Hi Mareike!

I'm a freelancer/freiberufler. I've never worked at the vhs but docents get paid about 20 euros per course unit, according to the Internet. I think it also depends on how educated/ausgebildet you are. My husband was a English-ESL Teacher at a vhs for about a year. He only had a TEFL certificate, he says he earned about 600 per semester -- that's not much! He had two classes. he gave it up because the money was not worth the commute.

Yes, freelancers have to pay for social security (Rentenversicherung) and insurance themselves but that's the way it is with any job. Freelancers are only required to pay a percentage/ Beitrag which is income-based, so it's usually fair. The real hardship is filing taxes! Tax laws are extremely complicated and filing requires an accountant/Steuerberater €€€ :(

The best thing I like about being a freelancer is the flexibility. It's very attractive because I can pick what projects I want to work on, and I can set my own hours. I have to accept that sometimes there's a lot of work, and sometimes there's none. The summer is the slowest time of the year for me. All my clients go on vacation at the same time. ;)


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